Article | Onlythebeat

Behind the Beat: Seven Lions

Friday, December 30, 2016
Josh Habursky

Think of world class music production mixed with scenic backgrounds, captivating visuals, and even throw in some smoke, confetti, and pyrotechnics. That is what it's like to be on the Journey Tour with Jeff Montalvo, the producer and DJ originally from Santa Barbara, California known as Seven Lions.

His career as Seven Lions began in 2010, but his interest in music dates back to when he was only seven years old when his father brought home a computer and keyboard. Seven Lions caught up with Only The Beat during his Washington, D.C. tour stop.

Only The Beat: How did you start your career as a DJ and producer? What was your first official gig?

Seven Lions: My first official gig was in Colorado at a strange little club called Cervantes.

OTB: Do you have any mentors in the industry? If so, how have they helped your career?

SL: Bird of Prey was big mentor of mine. He was actually a roommate of mine for a while.

OTB: If you had to pick another career…?

SL: Sound designer for video games.

OTB: You are in the midst of the Journey Tour and recently released "Cold Skin" on Monstercat with Echos. How is the tour going so far and the track being received?

SL: It is going really well so far, I think that it even might surpass "Rush Over Me" on the charts. The tour has been awesome. Lots of adventuring, but it has gone by really quickly. It's hard to believe that we only have a few weeks left.

Seven Lions & Echos - "Cold Skin" 

OTB: How would you personally describe your style and sound?

SL: Melodic. Epic. Heavy.

OTB: What would you say has been the top milestone or highlight of your music career so far?

SL: Probably EDC mainstage.

OTB: What is your favorite track the you produced and one that you did not produce?

SL: "Leaving Earth" is probably my favorite track that I produced. One that I did not produce would be "Pathfinder" by Bird of Prey.

OTB: What advice do you have for an aspiring DJ that is trying to get a shot in the industry?

SL: Be persistent and don't give up. Make music that you personally like.

OTB: Where do you see the dance music industry in the next five years? New trends? New technology?

SL: I think everyone in the next five years, everyone is going to be cartoon characters, wear masks, or food-based DJs.

OTB: Outside of Djing, what are your other interests or hobbies? What are the best places to go to in Santa Barbara?

SL: I like rock climbing. Drinking beer. Hiking. My go to beer is Guinness, but in terms of craft beer, there is this place in Santa Barbara, Island Brewing Company that has a great stout. Lucky's is the best steakhouse. Derf's is the most comfortable place. Daily Grind for coffee is the best.

OTB: 2016 has been a big year for you with the release of your Creation EP that was #1 on the Dance/Electronic Billboard Charts. What can we expect from you the rest of this year? Any new tracks or collaborations coming up?

SL: There is a collab with Jason Ross that I am still trying to figure out a release date. It is either going to be December or January. That is the next big thing going on.

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